Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over Drone Killings of US Citizens

Insists Courts Can't Examine 'Operational' Decisions

US District Judge Rosemary Collyer has dismissed Nasser al-Awlaki’s lawsuit against Obama Administration officials over the assassination of his son and grandson in US drone strikes in Yemen.

Collyer argued that it was “impermissible” for the courts to get involved in “operational combat decisions regarding the designation of targets,” though the US is not involved in combat in Yemen, where the killings took place, and the assassinations were rather planned months in advance, and publicized before they took place.

Collyer went on to insist that the Constitution grants sole decision-making on who lives and dies to the president, and that allowing lawsuits would “hinder their ability in the future to act decisively and without hesitation.”

Collyer’s ruling was materially identical to the Justice Department’s own demand for dismissal, which insisted courts have no say over the president’s ability to kill people abroad, citizen or not, and that it was essentially impossible for anyone to challenge the killings before they happen or after.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.